Hey friends! First I would like to say, “Thank You, Thank You Thank You… for sharing last week’s post. I was so incredibly nervous of revealing my personal struggles. I knew by providing the raw images that this would help you understand the real setbacks average women encounter while fighting the fight to get their bodies back. So with some hesitation, I eventually closed my eyes, said a few inspiring words to myself and pressed Publish.
Because of you, my pageviews increased over 1000 percent! I received an overwhelming number of supportive responses from so many of you. I received additional support and social media likes from you sharing my story through Facebook and for this, I am beyond grateful for all of your support!
I had so much information that I wanted to share with you last week that I just knew I needed to write a Part 2 that included a little more detail on certain aspects of the struggles and sacrifices. I want in any way possible to help other beautiful women & yes even men through their weight loss journeys. Even if you haven’t birthed a baby, you can take away a valuable lesson from this.
For those of you new to Fit Body Nourish, on last week’s post I revealed my current post baby body and my post-baby weight loss journey. If you missed it please check it out here first and then read this next as this is part 2: The Tell ALL… well almost all 😉 of my weight loss journey. I want to give you a Tell ALL, a no holding it back, inside scoop on my year of weight loss.
I am no celebrity and have never been blessed with amazing genetics. There were no gimmicks, no nips and tucks and no “so called diets”. Just real life changing decisions, hard work and discipline.
So let me break it down. Here are the Setbacks In More Detail:
Why Did Losing the Weight Take So Long to Come Off? It’s Because of:
- For One, Those Annoying Little Hormones
The doctors said my mood swings and no patience attitude were all happening due to those lovely hormones. I’m no hormone expert, but I felt like every professional I spoke to about my highs and lows and everything in between placed blame on my hormones. Hormones were the common fault for everything. For instance, Why did my breastmilk dry up… my hormones. Why am I not losing the weight even at 4 – 5 months post-partum… hormones. AND how about – Why am I laughing at one minute and then balling my eyes out the next… yep same Hormones. I assure you I did not capture those crazy moments on camera, but if I did they would have looked something like this.
And the 20 seconds later happy like nothing bad ever happened moment looked a lot like this….
(Mark confirmed my photo selections were indeed similar to the real thing)
After much research and speaking to many doctors, I just came to the realization that everyone’s struggle is their own set of problems and not one person fits that into that category described as the “average person”. This is simply my struggle and most of my doctors agreed that I may continue to be experiencing issues in many different areas due to a hormonal imbalance which could last up to 12 months. Wowzer….
How did I overcome this: I don’t know.. ask Mark. I honestly think I just transitioned right into a new category of grumpy due to my fitness competition training. Haha.. No but, Honestly, I noticed a huge change in weight loss around 6-7 months and then felt more like my “normal self” again around 9ish months. It was then I felt like the mood swings weren’t as prevalent as they once were.
- Lack of Sleep
Well there was a whole lot of sleeping going on except for me (well and Mark too)
I laugh now when the doctors said, “GET YOUR REST”. SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS. Yeah, that didn’t happen too much. I either wasn’t tired enough to just sporadically fall asleep or I felt like I needed to focus on a higher priority such as feeding my face. Weight loss is factored in by incorporating these 3 important pieces… nutrition, exercise and SLEEP. Your body needs to be in sync with each of these aspects in order to facilitate weight loss. Check out this article for further reading on Sleep.
How did I overcome this: Well I had to work out some type of a schedule with Mark. We just had to take shifts on many a nights. I definitely took countless naps when he got home from work around 6-7p, and I would sleep until I needed to feed her again around 10-11p. Mark gave me time to eat dinner, TAKE A BATH!!!!!! HALLULUAH 🙂 AND ONCE WE STARTED THIS, it got a little easier. Not to mention the mood swings got better… That was a big win for everybody. I just had to be OK with knowing that I was going to be out of commission in the evenings… and I became OK with that.
Don’t worry no visuals.
I dealt with nausea off and on throughout my pregnancy. Breastfeeding was incredibly difficult. Every time Baby Shugs would latch on or when I attached the pump, an overwhelming stream of nausea set in. The association was very apparent, and I tried to stay strong and kept trying. A back story, Baby Shugs lost too much weight at the beginning of life, was a poor latcher and what they (the professionals) called a lazy feeder. We later discovered that I had a very fast let down that lasted for a few short minutes. Since Baby Shugs was a lazy feeder, she didn’t want to work hard to get more out after the letdown. The lazy, laidback feedings looked a lot like this…
Long story, sort of short, I had 3 times a week scheduled visits with a specialist, went to seminars/classes, consulted with friends and tried every possible combination possible. I was feeding every 3 hours, with her breastfeeding for about 40 minutes, changing her diaper, rocking her back to sleep, finishing pumping and then down for about a 30 minute nap before I pressed repeat. This resulted in me getting very little sleep in the beginning months, constant nausea, and eventually depleted my supply of breast milk. I was so so sad. I worked so hard and felt like that got me nowhere.
How did I overcome this: By the nature of getting more sleep and through better consistent exercise, I slowly became less nauseous overall. The big change was keeping my energy levels stable. This allowed my body to stay in control instead of having high and lows. I also stayed away from foods that would increase my nausea. For me and many others, that included caffeine, acidic foods, fried foods, creamy and rich sauces (pizza and pastas) and even decadent desserts. AND forget about wine. Every morning I already felt like I had a hangover so I had to say bye-bye to the alcohol (well for the most part). Tip: Give a square of dark chocolate a chance! It’s power of satisfaction is mindblowing!!!
- Adjusting to new routine
This of course is just something that was hard to handle at first, but I had to make some decisions on how to create some type of normalcy in my life. I like to be very organized and this chaos was not working for me. I realized that I had to let go of some things because I was not going to win this one.
How did I overcome this: In the beginning I had to just forget about my old routine and job description and focus on the New Director of Scheduling. Baby Shugs joined the team and was now in charge! I made countless sacrifices in the beginning, but soon had to figure out some creative ways to take care of my needs.
When baby ate, I found inventive ways to eat and made sure to always have a glass of water near me! I preplanned my meals and prepped meals for a few days out to ensure I would have something healthy to eat. As I mentioned earlier Mark scheduled time for me to have a bath, workout and even eat a sensible dinner in peace.
When the days got rough and I was pooped, I found myself just lying down and taking a nap. Sometimes you just need to take care of your needs that surface at that very moment.
Make an agenda, but make it flexible enough to be able to accommodate the random sudden changes that you will encounter. You need to try to facilitate a “New normal”. It will take some getting used to. Try your best to stay on track with your needs but make proper adjustments on your schedule. Your baby needs you but they really need a healthy you. A little TLC for yourself can go a long way. Also a little meal prepping can do wonders for your future health.
- Physical pain from a healing body
This setback was also very hard to handle. I mentally wanted to go back to my pre-baby workout regimen but my body was not willing to. I could barely do non weighted lunges for months. I remember trying to do a simple crunch and it felt like my abs were ripping. I would wake up the next morning, from what seemed to be a good workout from the day before, to feel an unbelievable amount of pain. I honestly just cried. I had to take weeks at a time off from weight training. I continued cardio and a few other exercises that didn’t put too much pressure on my abs or pelvic floor. I talked about this with trainers, doctors, friends and even researched the topic which resulted in receiving a crazy amount of different responses and time frames of healing. What I came to realize was that again, everybody’s body is different and each person has their own unique set of setbacks.
How did I overcome this: I took it easy in the gym the first months for sure. Realizing that during and after giving birth you have an increase in the hormone Relaxin in your body. You want to avoid any unnecessary injuries or permanent damage to your joints. Relaxin loosens the joints. At the beginning, I felt like Gumby like I could stretch all the way out… haha and then about 6-8 weeks post-baby I felt like Barbie (not pleasant)… my legs felt like I could just snap them in half. No flexibility. My pelvic floor was a complete mess. Let me just add that jumping rope or box jumps are not in my near future. I came to realize that I am still having accidents of “peeing on myself” sorry there is just no other way to say it during intense jumping exercises. I was doing T25 in my own home and had to stop the 25 minute video 3 times due to the intensity of the high knee jump….. I just laughed and reminded Mark to never let me jump with high intensity in public.
Whenever I got sick, it took me down. I have never felt so sick so often at one time frame in my life.
How did I overcome this: I just made nutrition and sleep my main focuses. I put priority on getting in enough of my macronutrients: protein, carbs and fat and made sure to get plenty of rest (I know this one wasn’t that realistic but Mark made sure that I was able to take additional naps in order to give my body the rest it needed). I relied heavily on Meal Replacement Shakes from Advocare when I just didn’t feel up to eating solids.
Living over 1200 miles from my parents, family and some of my closest friends, I was dreading doing this “alone” well you know besides with Mark. I knew I wasn’t alone but many days I felt that way. My husband works crazy long days to provide for our family. I respect all that he does and know that we are truly blessed beyond measure. BUT that doesn’t disregard my feelings of sadness and being alone for a large chuck of the day as a new mama with a newborn baby. Every day I experienced highs and lows. Baby Shugs had a lot of little health issues, no different than the average child, but the doctor finally acknowledged after months, of hardship with acid reflux, extreme hip dysplasia and trapped gas, just to name a few that Baby Shugs was bordeline Colic.
How did I overcome this: Well it truly takes a Village with consistent support. Just a supporting and comforting phone call or text from a dear friend would brighten my day and made those long nights bearable. (Not to mention… the sweet Baby Shugs snuggles, smiles and kisses)
I also found some incredible programs and communities that helped me tremendously.
Amma Parenting Center has a fabulous New Mama’s class that worked me through a lot of the early onset difficulties.
Bump Club and Beyond provided excellent seminars and an awesome free yoga class at Lululemon.
Blooma is a phenomenal studio that hosted a plethera of yoga and bar classes for mama-to-be’s, baby yoga, and baby wearing friendly barre just to name a few. They also have awesome classes for pre and post baby.
I truly am grateful for all the support these mamas-to-be and new mamas gave one another. I can’t express the feeling of love and support I received from these programs and classes. I felt like I was Superwoman.
When Spring arrived, the Sunshine and healthy walks around the beautiful lakes in Minnesota did my body a lot of good!!!! Vitamin D and exercise, just to name a few, do wonders for your mind and body.
Supplements Used Throughout Post-Baby Weight Loss
Many people have asked me about supplementation and if I used any during and after my pregnancy. I believe in order to maintain your health, you need to supplement. I have mentioned before in an earlier post that you would have to eat approximately 4000 calories a day in order to attempt getting close to the right amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. So with most of us needing to eat less than that on a daily basis, we need to supplement. A multivitamin (MVI) and a fish oil are pertinent to your health. I took prenatal vitamins and plant-based omega-3s during pregnancy and for a few months after since I still had some supply left. I didn’t want to waste them. Then I switched back to a regular MVI. I take Omega-3s as an insurance policy especially since I had a strong food aversion to fish. I could barely eat it for months after giving birth. I drank Advocare meal replacement shakes both during and after pregnancy due to the bouts of nausea and the increase in illnesses. I made sure to supplement protein with protein powder when needed and took Catalyst (branched chain amino acids) to couple with the protein. This helps with muscle recovery and immune system. Night Time Recovery from Advocare is amazing when I’m able to take it. It really helps your body build and retain muscle mass. For a complete list of supplements, message me for more details. I am willing to help you out in any way that I can! Check out this link to view and order products that I use.
Thank you for sticking around with me through this longer than normal post. I want to end with:
Why I Persevered?
The main reason I went into the field of nutrition for a profession was to help others live better lives through preventive measures. Mark and I started a family, and we want to be around as long as we can to enjoy every single second of it! You only have one life, so make the most of it!
Enjoy your day my friends! Please oh please share this with others!